Greater Hudson Chamber Highlights Those who Make a Difference
April 12, 2019
The Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce held its 50th Annual Awards Celebration April 3 at The Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham. This annual event honors community members for their generous and continuous service as distinguished partners in the community.
This year, the Master of Ceremonies was Virginia Kazlouskas of Harmony Real Estate, also president of the Greater Hudson Chamber. An invocation was offered by Kathy Warren of Enterprise Bank, treasurer of the chamber.
Citizen of the Year – Diana LaMothe
Hudson resident Diana LaMothe was honored for her leadership, selflessness, volunteerism, and dedication to community. Those who nominated Diana shared that they have never met anyone with a bigger heart and a more ambitious spirit. They called her someone who is extremely passionate with respect to the betterment of the local schools.
Diana’s amazing fundraising and organizational skills have helped make a difference in the lives of children. When her own kids became students at Presentation of Mary Academy, she volunteered as a substitute teacher, taught a program on protecting the environment, and volunteered her time whenever she was needed. For several years, she was one of the key people to organize, run, and pull together their annual auction, a very large fundraisers and no easy task. Diana was the primary person who spearheaded their capital campaign that raised millions to fund construction of the new addition, the Thompson Center for Athletics and Performing Arts.
This past year, Diana has worked tirelessly with a group of volunteers to facilitate the proposed plans for the Alvirne High School Renovations for Generations, to bring information to the voting public. She recognized the need and opportunity for significant improvements to the aging high school and has made it her mission to do whatever she can. She has attended countless meetings, including school board, budget committee and others to educate herself on what is needed and what can be done. Donna has even chosen to utilize her time and her knowledge of accounting to further help the children of Hudson by committing to being a member of the Hudson School Board.
Large Business of the Year – BAE Systems
This award recognizes BAE Systems for their community engagement, leadership involvement, and meaningful impact in making a difference to the community.
BAE Systems proudly invests in the communities where their employees live and work by supporting organizations that make a positive and measurable impact. Their proud tradition of community support is evident through their philanthropic giving, as well as their encouragement of employees to be actively involved in volunteering and fundraising for charitable organizations throughout New Hampshire.
BAE partners with organizations assisting the military and their families as well as those providing access to science, technology, engineering and math for the youth. Dedicated to supporting the next generation, the company has a longstanding partnership with FIRST Robotics, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, encouraging students to engage in STEM. They also provide opportunities for high school students to explore technology and engineering, as well as internships to build their careers.
Small Business of the Year – The Bar
This year, The Bar is being recognized for its commitment to the community. Owner Judy Laferriere-Mank was previously a mechanical engineer until several years ago when her family home suffered a fire. At that time she started working at the bar as a part-time cook while the family recovered. When the previous owner wanted to sell in 2016, Judy decided to make an offer and infuse a change into the business. Judy has made updates, working to change the atmosphere and reputation of the bar. She credits her crowd of regulars who support her efforts, especially when she expressed her desire to be a community leader by helping those in need. Judy’s own hardships made her vow that when she was in a position to support local charities, she would.
Each month The Bar and its customers hold raffles to support Wounded Warriors, and additional funds raised go to other local charities, such as the St. John Food Pantry, Humane Society for Greater Nashua, Family Promise of Greater Nashua at Anne Marie House, Disabled American Veterans, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and others. Another organization dear to Judy 50 Legs, a group that changes lives by providing necessary care and prosthetics for amputees. Last year The Bar’s bike run to benefit 50 Legs raised more than $7,000. For the past three years, The Bar has held their Toys for Tots Extravaganza, contributing more than $10,000 in cash and toys. As a responsible bar owner, Judy and her staff make it their moral duty, not just a legal one, that all her customers make it safely home by providing cab rides to ensure their safety.
Junior Citizen of the Year – Madailein Lindsay
This Alvirne High School senior is destined to be a positive influence with younger generations to come. Madailein is a remarkable individual who demonstrates compassion for everyone in the community.
An active member of the National Honor Society, she excels in honors and AP- level courses, participating in numerous school committees, volunteering for various community projects, and working as a part-time assistant teacher at a daycare.
Her community service activities are extensive: dedicating time to the Feed Our Kids Program at the Hudson Food Pantry; taking a leadership role at Bible School; working the holiday gift drives at St. Mark’s Parish; participating in the Pediatric Fundraiser; volunteering at the annual Thanksgiving holiday dinner event through the Hudson Fish and Game Club; and even assisting veterans in the community.
Madailein’s greatest strength lies in her compassion for the younger generation. She volunteers at Hills Garrison School each week eager to assist fourth-grade students struggling with math. She enjoys working to connect and build relationships with the students.
An independent, outgoing, and optimistic person, Madailein is on a journey to pursue studies in elementary education. She displays a willingness to lead by example while doing so with an open and kind heart. She is the daughter of Joanne and Brian Lindsay of Hudson.
Outstanding Community Partner – Hudson Fish & Game Club
The Hudson Fish and Game Club, incorporated in 1956, will celebrate its 63rd anniversary in August. The HF&GC maintains a clubhouse to promote social connections of its members as well as offering their facility out for rental income, which they, in turn, donate for charitable activities in the community.
The Hudson Fish and Game Club makes a traditional meal on Thanksgiving Day to help feed the local communities, including home deliveries; this helps many elderly, disabled, financially distressed and homebound individuals. They have been providing this generous service to the local communities for 25-plus years. This service is offered through club members who volunteer their time and the club’s facilities. In November 2018, HF&GC coordinated and delivered 500 meals and served an additional 125 meals at the club. This tradition is one of the club’s proudest efforts in giving back.
Supporting the younger generation, the Hudson Fish and Game Club Junior Rifle Team is active all year round in competitive smallbore and precision air rifle. With a wide range of ages, between 9 and 20 years old, they compete in NRA Indoor Sectionals, NRA Outdoor Regionals as well as in USA Shooting Junior Olympics and other USAS matches. Several team members have gone on to compete in college with athletic scholarships in rifle, while some have earned invitations to compete in the Junior Olympic National Championships.